Following the Austrian Anschluss, Grüninger saved about 3,600 Jewish refugees by backdating their visas and falsifying other documents to indicate that they had entered Switzerland at a time when legal entry of refugees was still possible. He was dismissed from the police force, convicted of official misconduct, and fined 300 Swiss francs. He received no pension and died in poverty in 1972.
In 1995 the district court of St. Gallen revoked the judgment against him and cleared him of all charges. The government of the Canton of St.Gallen later paid compensation to his descendants. The Yad Vashem Israeli holocaust memorial honors him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. A street located in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev has been named after him.
Honor in Switzerland
- The stadium of Brühl St. Gallen is named in his honor.
- Grüningers Fall, a 1997 Swiss documentary film
- Akte Grüninger, a 2013 Swiss-Austrian film
- Stefan Keller: Grüningers Fall. Geschichten von Flucht und Hilfe. Rotpunktverlag, Zürich 1998, ISBN 978-3858691576.
- Wulff Bickenbach: Gerechtigkeit für Paul Grüninger. Verurteilung und Rehabilitierung eines Schweizer Fluchthelfers (1938–1998). Böhlau, Köln 2009, ISBN 978-3-412-20334-4.
- Webpage of the Paul Grüninger foundation
- Yad Vashem The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority: Paul Grüninger
- The Example of Grüninger
- Author Eyal Press discusses Paul Grüninger's heroism on Conversations from Penn State